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#12042569 - 05/19/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: paul105]  
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McInnis Offline
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I picked up my 4.25" model 69 yesterday. First thing was to get those ugly rubber grips off and replace them with a set of Ahrend's I already had. Then off the the range today.

I wish this had a happy ending, but I had three misfires out of 50 rounds. One of those rounds fired on the second try and the other two took two more tries. I sure didn't expect this, but maybe I should have. This is the second gun out of about the last five I've purchased that had light primer strikes. The other one was a Henry .45-70.

I use Winchester primers to reload for models 629, two 29s, 686, 586 and a 442 as well as a couple of Ruger revolvers. I guess I've used them for a couple of thousand rounds or probably more and can't remember one light primer strike.

I think it handles well and has a good trigger, with no visible defects. But I don't have much use for a gun that won't fire every time. Not sure if I'll keep it as a range gun or get rid of it. Maybe try another brand of primers, but it's gonna be hard to really trust it, unfortunately.


[Linked Image]

CMG 300 BP

#12042585 - 05/19/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: paul105]  
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WyoCoyoteHunter Online content
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That sucks.. Best of luck..

#12042606 - 05/19/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: McInnis]  
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EdM Offline
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Have you opened it up and looked inside? If not, I suggest you do unless you are not comfortable doing so. Otherwise send it back to S&W. I can't imagine getting rid of a defective firearm.


Conduct is the best proof of character.
#12042673 - 05/19/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: paul105]  
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chlinstructor Online content
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If I had 3 misfires out of 50 with hand loads, I wouldn't necessarily call that the fault of the handgun. I'd shoot at least 100 rounds of factory ammo before I made that judgement call.
And if it was still having misfires, I'd call S&W first and get it shipped backed to them for repair! They have an excellent customer service department and warranty repair.


"Allways speak the truth and you will never have to remember what you said before..." unknown
Texans, "We say Grace, We Say Mam, If You Don't Like it, We Don't Give a Damn!"
#12042692 - 05/19/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: chlinstructor]  
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McInnis Offline
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If I had 3 misfires out of 50 with hand loads, I wouldn't necessarily call that the fault of the handgun. I'd shoot at least 100 rounds of factory ammo before I made that judgement call.


Yeah, well I knew someone would say that. That's why I pointed out that I reload for several other revolvers (I didn't even mention a BFR and a Freedom Arms model 97) as well as three Smith and Wessons that my wife owns. In thousands of reloads, I cannot remember one single misfire. Not that I expected that everyone would actually read that.

But this brand new revolver has three misfires in 50 rounds, and the revolver itself isn't a factor - really? I'm not interested in owning a gun that can only shoot factory ammo, so I'm not going that route. As I said, I may keep it as a range gun, but there is something quite a bit different in its performance compared to all the other revolvers in my home.

Alpha

#12042787 - 05/19/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: paul105]  
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paul105 Offline
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Call or email Smith & Wesson. They'll send you a pre paid return shipping label. They will fix you up at no cost to you other than some aggrevation.

https://www.smith-wesson.com/brands/sw

I have three 4 1/4" guns. One has over 5,000 rnds down the pipe another almost 3,000 and third was function checked, sighted in and put in the safe as a backup. I now have almost 500 rnds thru the 2 3/4" gun that's the subject of this post. I have never had a misfire with these guns. 99 percent have been handloads using CCI, Win and Federal primers. Not that this helps you, just sayin'.

S&W has had some "short" firing pin problems in the recent past. People reporting the problem on the S&W forum have been taken care of by S&W under warranty.

I know it sucks. You gun should work 100 percent with any ammo and S&W CS will make it right.

Paul

#12042830 - 05/19/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: McInnis]  
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Steelhead Offline
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Stra
Originally Posted by McInnis
I picked up my 4.25" model 69 yesterday. First thing was to get those ugly rubber grips off and replace them with a set of Ahrend's I already had. Then off the the range today.

I wish this had a happy ending, but I had three misfires out of 50 rounds. One of those rounds fired on the second try and the other two took two more tries. I sure didn't expect this, but maybe I should have. This is the second gun out of about the last five I've purchased that had light primer strikes. The other one was a Henry .45-70.

I use Winchester primers to reload for models 629, two 29s, 686, 586 and a 442 as well as a couple of Ruger revolvers. I guess I've used them for a couple of thousand rounds or probably more and can't remember one light primer strike.

I think it handles well and has a good trigger, with no visible defects. But I don't have much use for a gun that won't fire every time. Not sure if I'll keep it as a range gun or get rid of it. Maybe try another brand of primers, but it's gonna be hard to really trust it, unfortunately.


[Linked Image]


Strain screw tight? Screw on new grips not interfering with mainspring?

I'd check strain screw first and then put original grips on just for giggles.


"When I was a kid I thought that quicksand was going to be a much bigger problem than it is."
#12042850 - 05/19/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: paul105]  
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McInnis Offline
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Quote
I have three 4 1/4" guns. One has over 5,000 rnds down the pipe another almost 3,000 and third was function checked, sighted in and put in the safe as a backup. I now have almost 500 rnds thru the 2 3/4" gun that's the subject of this post. I have never had a misfire with these guns. 99 percent have been handloads using CCI, Win and Federal primers.


Yeah that would pretty much have been me. Until today.

#12042865 - 05/19/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: Steelhead]  
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McInnis Offline
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Strain screw tight? Screw on new grips not interfering with mainspring?

I'd check strain screw first and then put original grips on just for giggles.


Steelhead, when I swapped grips I checked the strain screw, but could the new grips be interfering with the main spring? That's seems like a very interesting possibility. I took those grips off another L frame (a 686) that I've never had trouble with, but I can sure see how it could happen. I'm going to give your suggestion a try.

Thanks!

#12042998 - 05/19/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: paul105]  
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You could also put something between the strain screw and the mainspring (like a spent primer) to put a little more torque on it as a 'just to see'.

If that works you might just need a little longer strain screw, again assuming that it's currently tight.


"When I was a kid I thought that quicksand was going to be a much bigger problem than it is."
Bravo

#12043072 - 05/19/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: 41rem]  
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Originally Posted by 41rem
I have a 1980's vintage 657 no dash on its way to me, it's the 3" N frame round butt in .41 magnum and am really looking forward to shooting it. I enjoy short barreled magnum revolvers as well, especially if they have comfortable grips, mine has the Smith & Wesson smooth Combat's on it & those are about as good as it gets.

You can load hot heavy loads for hunting or long range rock cracking work, or run specials in them for a relaxing plinking session, I reload so I can cover the whole spectrum.

That's a nice looking 44 mag, enjoy.


41

i do have one of those, and have mostly shot cast in it from 180's up to 300grain in 41mag. latest experiment was 41special. Mine has had a action job on it to improve on what was already excellent. I put the smith grips back on it a few months ago, just cause they are purty. Mostly i had hogues on it. A 250grain cast lead hollow point would take care of most everything. I did buy last fall the same gun in a 629 44magnum.
you can't really tell them apart on a table.


THE BIRTH PLACE OF GERONIMO
#12043083 - 05/19/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: Steelhead]  
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McInnis Offline
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Quote
You could also put something between the strain screw and the mainspring (like a spent primer) to put a little more torque on it as a 'just to see


I took the Ahrend's grip off, and when I pried one half off it was clear to see that the other half was pressed hard against the side of the main spring. I'm going to test it out tomorrow with the factory grip. If that doesn't help, I'll take a spent primer and try that trick too. I have hope.

#12043292 - 05/20/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: paul105]  
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1st rule of thumb when troubleshooting: Put shiet back to how it was before you f*cked with it.


"When I was a kid I thought that quicksand was going to be a much bigger problem than it is."
#12044181 - 05/20/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: Steelhead]  
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McInnis Offline
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So I am thinking the grips made a difference. With the Ahrend's yesterday I had misfires in 3 of 50 rounds. Today using the factory grips I had 2 of 100. So either I have a weak main spring or maybe the firing pin is just a bit short. I was going to try the spent primer thing, but there's not enough clearance between the main spring and the frame. I'm going to look around for something else to use as a shim.

#12044245 - 05/20/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: paul105]  
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Either the screw is too short or something with pin


"When I was a kid I thought that quicksand was going to be a much bigger problem than it is."
#12044325 - 05/20/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: RoninPhx]  
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41rem Offline
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Originally Posted by RoninPhx
Originally Posted by 41rem
I have a 1980's vintage 657 no dash on its way to me, it's the 3" N frame round butt in .41 magnum and am really looking forward to shooting it. I enjoy short barreled magnum revolvers as well, especially if they have comfortable grips, mine has the Smith & Wesson smooth Combat's on it & those are about as good as it gets.

You can load hot heavy loads for hunting or long range rock cracking work, or run specials in them for a relaxing plinking session, I reload so I can cover the whole spectrum.

That's a nice looking 44 mag, enjoy.


41

i do have one of those, and have mostly shot cast in it from 180's up to 300grain in 41mag. latest experiment was 41special. Mine has had a action job on it to improve on what was already excellent. I put the smith grips back on it a few months ago, just cause they are purty. Mostly i had hogues on it. A 250grain cast lead hollow point would take care of most everything. I did buy last fall the same gun in a 629 44magnum.
you can't really tell them apart on a table.



RoninPhx, I had a 250 grain LBT carry load I liked, it used a hefty charge of Lil 'Gun & a standard primer in the magnum case. I'll move move away from that powder due to its lack of a flame retardant, probably go for AA#9 or WW296. Real good all around heavy working load in the 41 magnum.

Last edited by 41rem; 05/20/17.
#12045287 - 05/21/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: Steelhead]  
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McInnis Offline
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Quote
Either the screw is too short or something with pin


I'm thinking the pin. I guess I'll call S&W this week. I know they'll ask me what ammo I'm using and if I say handholds they'll just tell me not to do that. So I'll got to buy a box of factory .44 ammo and try it. I don't think I've ever done that before. Not looking forward to finding out how much it will cost.

#12046377 - 05/21/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: McInnis]  
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McInnis Offline
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Guys, here's an update. I did some searching this morning and it seems that everyone who shoots revolvers competitively uses Federal primers because they ignite easier in double action shooting where the tension on the main spring has been eased to lighten the trigger pull. I had a brick of Federals in the closet, so I primed a box of empty cartridges and headed to the garage for a test. Not one misfire in 50 rounds, so I repeated the test and same thing. Then I primed 50 more, loaded with powder and bullets and headed to the range. Another 50 or 50. So not one misfire in 150 tries.

Unlike loading for my hunting rifles I've never been particular about primers for my handguns. I've bought Federals but didn't care for them much because of the way they tumble out of the box sideways and then make me pick through them to get the right side up in the primer pan. My thinking on that changed today.

I've got some Alamont grips on order. I hope they won't hinder the main spring. I really don't like the factory grips that I'm using now.

#12049854 - 05/23/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: McInnis]  
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Might be the ammo rather than the gun. Never had a single failure using factory ammo. Does not take a lot to render a primer dead, from handling. Just sayin...

#12050523 - 05/23/17 Re: 2.75" S&W M69 (5 shot L Frame .44 Mag) - First Impressions [Re: Crowman]  
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McInnis Offline
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Might be the ammo rather than the gun. Never had a single failure using factory ammo. Does not take a lot to render a primer dead, from handling. Just sayin...


Yeah, original thought there, I said when I switched to Federal Primers I had no more misfires. And I took a count. I reload or have reloaded for 13 different revolvers in the recent past and have had zero misfires, using the same primers and technique I've used with this model 69. So it might just be the gun too, just saying.

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